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Lincoln JV capture Classic title

Zebras steamroll Rio Linda
By: Jim Linsdau News Messenger Sports Editor
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After a great semifinal win over Oakmont’s junior varsity girls basketball team, Lincoln wasn’t about to let Rio Linda stand in the way of a Chavez Christmas Classic championship as the Fighting Zebras cruised to a 49-17 win over the Knights. Six players scored in the first period to give the blue-and-gold a 20-point lead that just kept mounting. Head coach Donna Tofft cleared her bench and began sending in five players at a time as the Zebras left no doubt as to which club would hold high the No. 1 trophy. “We go deep,” Tofft said of her bench. “I think the next tournament is going to be interesting because I think it will be stronger. But how we did against Oakmont, I’m excited.” The Lincoln Invitational Tournament is scheduled for Dec. 28-30, both varsity and JV. Freshman Chantel Sharp was exactly that – sharp – leading the Zebras with 17 points and seven rebounds. Freshman guard Taylor Galli added eight points to the team’s total, and Alaina Paaga chipped in six. Although turnovers eventually evened out between the two teams, Lincoln forced the Knights to give up the ball eight times in the first quarter. The Zebras lost the ball once during that same period. Lincoln took over the glass by pulling down 35 rebounds to Rio Linda’s 25. Nakita Neel had six boards, and Paaga five. The Fighting Zebras were scheduled to play Whitney, Tuesday, and then take on the Honkers in Yuba City, Thursday. “(The tournament) ran smoothly,” Tofft said of the Classic. “We had a glitch where we had a team not show up, but our freshman team stepped up. But everybody had three games and that’s what everybody comes for, so I was pleased.” Tofft said she was also pleased with the money raised by the tournament to help support the Lincoln basketball program. “Every game we get better I’ll be happy,” Tofft said. “They did it tonight. I’ll take it; I’ll take any win.” Lincoln 49, Rio Linda 17 Knights 3 5 4 5 – 17 Zebras 23 14 6 6 – 49